Colombia will be looking to build on their winning start to Copa America when they face Venezuela in Group A on Thursday at 10pm (UK time).
Los Cafeteros beat Ecuador 1-0 on the tournament’s opening day, while Venezuela were routinely beaten 3-0 by hosts Brazil.
Where to live stream Colombia vs Venezuela:
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Where to watch Colombia vs Venezuela on TV:
- UK: BBC iPlayer & BBC Red Button
- US: Fox Sports 1
Scoreline prediction: Colombia 2-0 Venezuela
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Colombia vs Venezuela build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Colombia entered Copa America in a strange period, without Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez due to injury, and in uninspiring form in World Cup qualifying. They had won two, drawn two and lost two of their six games, and opened Copa America against a team that beat them 6-1 under a year ago. However, Colombia allayed any fears with a hard-fought 1-0 victory to take second spot in Group A after one game, behind only Brazil. With four of the five teams in Group A going through, Colombia will already feel confident of progression, but another victory would surely all-but secure it.
On the other side of this match, Venezuela will be looking to keep their Copa America journey alive. Although one defeat alone is not damaging in the Copa America group stage, a second could put them on the brink of an early exit – having to chase in their remaining two matches. There were extenuating circumstances in the 3-0 defeat to Brazil, but it was a continuation of their recent form, with Venezuela winning just one of their six games going into Copa America, losing four.
- Colombia (vs Ecuador): Ospina; Munoz, Mina, Murillo*, Moreno*; Cardona, Barrios, Uribe, Cuadrado; Borja, Borre.
- Venezuela (vs Brazil): Graterol; Gonzalez, Del Pino Mago, La Manita, Martinez, Cumana; Martinez, Manzano, Moreno, Casseres Jr; Aristeguieta.
Yairo Moreno and Oscar Murillo came off injured for Colombia in their win over Ecuador and are doubts, while Venezuela remain without a number of players.
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Player to watch: Davinson Sanchez (Colombia)
Should Oscar Murillo’s injury keep him out of Thursday’s game, as feared, Colombia will be hoping Davinson Sanchez is able to step up to the occasion. The Tottenham centre-back replaced Murillo with 10 minutes to go against Ecuador and helped them see out the match, preserving their clean sheet, but he did not have the greatest of seasons at club level.
Sanchez played just 18 of Tottenham’s 38 games in the Premier League in 2020/21, and only one under Ryan Mason, which brought another disaster. The Colombian centre-back started Tottenham’s final Premier League game of the season and struggled to deal with Jamie Vardy, conceding a penalty in a 4-2 win for the North London side. That didn’t cost him his spot in the Colombia starting XI for World Cup qualifying, as Sanchez played 90 minutes in a 3-0 win over Peru and 2-2 draw with Argentina, but there was something in that last match which pushed Murillo ahead of him.
The question now is how that affects Sanchez. Colombia cannot afford to make defensive mistake if they are to keep close to Brazil at the top of Group A.